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UC Berkeley Astronomer Stepping Down From Faculty After Sexual Harassment Revelations

BERKELEY (CBS SF) -- A world-renowned astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley is stepping down from his faculty position in the wake of his violations of the school's sexual harassment policies, according to a published report.

BuzzFeed News reported Geoff Marcy announced his intention to step down, citing an email it obtained from the university's astronomy department.

A university investigation has recently found that Marcy had violated its sexual harassment policies for years in his interactions with female students, a revelation first reported by BuzzFeed News.

Marcy was reprimanded but faced no other sanctions or punishment as a result of the school's investigation. But the news created a backlash against Marcy, which led to an online petition to "support the people who were targets of Geoff Marcy's inappropriate behavior and those who have spoken publicly about it."

The petition has been signed by more than 2,600 people as of Wednesday afternoon.

ALSO READ: UC Berkeley Defends Handling Of Sexual Harassment Complaints Against Astronomer

Other UC Berkeley astronomy faculty members called for his dismissal in an open letter earlier this week.

The fallout also led to Marcy resigning from a project that seeks to find life on other planets and skipping an upcoming exoplanet conference described as the biggest of the year.

Carlos E. Castañeda is Senior Editor, News & Social Media for CBS San Francisco and a San Francisco native. You can follow him on Twitter or send him an email.

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